We often ask, “Are online meetings really as effective as in-person meetings?” The answer is both yes and no. The obvious benefits of in-person meetings are personal interaction and a higher chance of a successful collaboration. However, online meetings have some inherent problems that need to be addressed if they are to be effective. Here are some tips for facilitating effective online meetings:
In-person meetings are more personal
A recent Fast Company article explores the science of virtual and in-person meetings. It does not favor one over the other, but it does provide an overview of the pros and cons of each. As more people become connected through the Internet, face-to-face meetings may eventually become obsolete. But until then, you can enjoy the advantages of both. Listed below are three reasons why face-to-face meetings are better than online meetings.
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An in-person meeting is more personal and effective. While online meetings can be very beneficial, they are still largely impersonal. It is difficult to establish an effective connection when you’re not in the same room as the other person. A face-to-face meeting can make it easier to explain sensitive issues, convey empathy and understanding, and work through problems together. Additionally, face-to-face meetings offer nonverbal cues that can help you get your point across. Lastly, face-to-face meetings also reduce the risk of misinterpretation.
They’re easier to get distracted
While attending an online meeting, it’s easy to become distracted. In addition to the virtual distractions of the meeting room, online meetings lack physical cues that help attendees stay on task. People are more likely to check email or respond to text messages while they are in the meeting. Here are some ways to stay focused and avoid being distracted during a web meeting. The more you practice these habits, the easier it will be for you to stay focused and on task.
The Ringelmann effect is even worse when we conduct virtual meetings and conference calls. Those who don’t feel needed end up distracted and will contribute less to the meeting. This will ultimately lead to an unsatisfying meeting experience and a poorer outcome. The Ringelmann effect will also lead to unhappiness and poor meeting outcomes. Online meetings are easier to get distracted than a face-to-face meeting.
They need tools
There’s no denying that face-to-face meetings are beneficial, but they aren’t always practical in our post-pandemic world. While virtual meetings are gaining popularity, the number of meetings held online is expected to increase by 20% annually by 2022. In addition, video conferencing is a booming trend for the remote workforce, and simple virtual conference tools aren’t enough to make them more effective. Instead, you need tools that improve the quality of your meetings, reduce your expenses, and simplify collaboration.
Fortunately, there are several tools that can make your online meetings more efficient. There are a number of synchronous and asynchronous meeting tools on the market today. Using the right tools will help you break bad habits and boost productivity. Consider a few of the most useful tools for online meetings. These can range from a simple online calendar to enterprise phone system technology. And as long as they provide what you need, you’ll be well on your way to an effective meeting.
They need a moderator
If you host a large team meeting online, you’ll need to have someone sit in as the moderator. A moderator helps facilitate the discussion by keeping the meeting on track, monitoring participant exchanges, and passing questions to the presenter. They’re not responsible for setting the meeting’s structure or results, but they do take the role of an impartial liaison between the presenter and participants. In some situations, they’ll even be asked to take notes!
As the meeting proceeds, the Moderator will need to stay on top of the chat window and jot down questions that come up. Moderators can also relay questions to the speaker, who can’t multitask while speaking. In order to keep the meeting moving smoothly, the Moderator will need to record questions and discuss them with the speakers. This way, he or she can keep track of the time, attendance, Parking Log, and answer questions directly in chat.